India’s renewable energy ambitions of achieving 175 GW capacity by March 2022 would require the country to have adequate grid infrastructure in place. Hence, India is planning $5 billion worth of transmission-line related tenders by March 2020. (Photo Credit: TaiyangNews)
- Indian government plans to bid out $5 billion worth of transmission-line related tenders to be able to absorb the massive renewable energy it expects to come online by March 2022
- Reuters quoted Secretary for Renewables, Anand Kumar as saying that since December 2018, India has awarded tenders for 12 GW of transmission lines
- By the end of June 2019, another 16 GW will be bid out in phases, and by March 2020 further 38 GW will be tendered
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Come June 2019 and the Government of India will launch transmission-line related tenders in phases. These will be worth a whopping $5 billion to help the country evacuate and transmit renewable energy capacity to the grid. By 2022, India is targeting to achieve 175 GW of renewable energy capacity, mainly powered by 100 GW of solar.
At the end of 2018, India had a grid connected solar power capacity of 25.21 GW, comprising 1.35 GW of rooftop solar (see India: 25 GW Total PV Capacity End Of 2018). Industry experts have time and again said the solar power target of 100 GW will not be reached by March 2022, owing to lack of policy clarity, insufficient finances and infrastructure, as well as trade related issues (see Lack Of Clarity Hurting Indian Solar Market). However, the government seems confident of achieving the 100 GW target in time.
The Indian Secretary for Renewables, Anand Kumar said that since December 2018, India had awarded tenders for 12 GW of transmission lines, and by the end of June 2019, 16 GW more can be expected, according to Reuters. Before March 2020, a further 38 GW is planned to be bid out. Kumar explained building transmission lines for 66 GW worth of projects is likely to cost some INR 430 billion ($6.2 billion).
Government estimates claim 103 GW of project capacity has been installed or is under implementation with more than 37 GW in various stages of bidding. By March 2020, the aim is to bid out remaining targeted renewable energy capacity so as to meet the March 2022 deadline.
Under the previous Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Piyush Goyal the government was planning to establish a separate central transmission utility in order to expand the reach of renewable power in the country (see India Contemplating Separate Transmission Entity).
In a related development, the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has notified that solar and wind power projects awarded post competitive bidding, will not be required to pay transmission charges and losses for the use of interstate transmission system (ISTS) network for a period of 25 years from the date of commercial operations. It will be applicable for projects that have entered commercial operations between February 13, 2018 to March 31, 2022 and have secured power purchase agreements (PPA).